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March 12, 2014

The Wearing O' The ('Gansett) Green



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Time to get your green -- 'Gansett green, that is -- on. There are big doings in the little hamlet this week, beginning with the Mr. Amagansett pageant tomorrow night and the sixth annual Am-O-Gansett parade on Saturday.

Patty Collins Sales founded the parade six years ago with Lee Satinsky "because I was told it could never happen." The first year the procession took place on the hamlet's Main Street sidewalk. Each year since, the event, touted as the smallest parade in the state courtesy of its one block route, has grown in popularity and participation.

"Every year it gets better and better," Sales said. "Sometimes we have more marchers than spectators, but that's okay, too."

That could happen this year, since the entire Amagansett School -- its students, staff and alumni -- was chosen grand marshal. This year a kid-friendly after party will be held on the grounds of Miss Amelia's Cottage at the western end of Main Street. There will be games for the kiddies, lots to eat, prizes for the best two and four-legged costumes, and a 50/50 cash raffle. (Raffle tickets are available at the Computer Store on Main Street.) The parade steps off promptly at 12:02 PM.

This week Sales recalled talking about the idea of a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Amagansett with Don Sharkey. "We talked for years about how funny it could be," she related. A video of the first parade, lensed by Kevin Gray and posted on the chamber's Facebook page, features shots of Sharkey, who died in 2009.

To honor his memory, friends created the Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund. It sponsors its main fundraiser, the Mr. Amagansett Pageant tomorrow night at the Stephen Talkhouse.

In its fifth year, the Mr. Amagansett Pageant has served as a jumping off point for not one single performer's stage career. By the same token, it has proved to be no help at all to participants' day jobs, either.

This week pageant organizer Tina Piette revealed an anonymous donor has pledged $1000 to see an "All Poll Band." Should they step up to the plate, the band will be comprised of former town supervisor Bill Wilkinson singing lead vocals, Legislator Jay Schneiderman on the drums, Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc on guitar, former councilman Job Potter on harmonica and former councilman Dominick Stanzione on the tambourine. The donor wants to see them lip sync Adele's platinum hit "Rolling In the Deep (We Could Have Had It All)." Piette said Wilky may not be in town for the event. She wondered if East Hampton's current supervisor, Larry Cantwell, might give it a go for the cause. He is an Amagansett native, after all.

Beyond the electeds' effort, the competition promises an array of acts from gentlemen eager to share their talents with an adoring, or heckling, audience. Piette will accept participants – for the proper price – right up until the last minute. "We always look for men with skills, talent, or hey . . . good looks will do."

The winner will receive his crown and robe from reigning Mr. Amagansett 2013 Matt Schmidt. Although he kept his scepter, "the golden clam rake," under guard, sadly, it was stolen. So it will be just a robe and crown for tomorrow night's lucky winner.

Doors open at 6:30 PM. Admission is $20.

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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